Lord knows why I've been living in magic Mexico, Aztecs and Maya's land, for 20 years. Although I was born in an ordinary family of a civil engineer and a teacher, and graduated from the Polytechnical Academy in Minsk, Belarus. I wonder, what is in common between the Mexicans and me. I've become attached to Mexico, the multi-national country of three cultures and civilizations - American Indians, classical Spanish and modern Western ones.

Mexicans consider it's difficult to find the other fine land like Mexico, and millions of tourists agree with them. With great pleasure you'll be shown ancient erections and ruins of the pre-Columbus era, the magnificent buildings of the colonial period, and besides, modernist architecture.

You would make certain of Mexican traditions and stroll through the fairy-tales streets of the silver towns which have become the museums of the colonial architecture.

You will be struck by Mexico City, the capital of the country and the nation's leading center of culture, industry, and transportation. It is the largest city in the world. Its wide range and some new financial centers make the city the most original, distinctive and cosmopolitan.

Mexico has joined myths, legends and fairy-tales with reality. Only here you could find splendid beaches by the ocean and an unknown world of the old civilizations of the Maya and Aztec people.

The cheapest way to get "the Sun" and "the Moon" is by the local subway! It's the way to see the oldest pyramids. Who built those pyramids? Nobody knows. But it's evident it is the birthplace of Lords.

The Mexicans believe that "It's in the bag, all is well". Wide-brimmed felt or straw hats called sombreros protect Mexican men from the hot sun. The sombrero (sombra - a Spanish word for shade) is considered to be a national headgear. As far as you know, the sombrero is one of the symbols of Mexico. But it wasn't invented by the native people; the wide-brimmed hat came here from Andalusia. Of course, it's not comfortable to sit on thorns; counter to this, the eagle of the national Mexican arms (coat of arms) is rather confident sitting on the cactus.

There are some eagles in the other foreign arms, but the only Mexican one is on the cactus.

The cactus is more than a symbol, 550 kinds of cactuses are known among the Mexicans. The main sort is nopale which is used for various delicious Mexican dishes. You can taste them fried or stewed, or pickled, or salted. For instance, pickled cactus reminds us pickled cucumbers. I recommend you to taste cactus food; it will do you well, especially if you suffer from diabetes.

Have you ever drunk tequila? Yes, rather! The origin place of this alcohol drink is a small Mexican town in the state of Jalisco. People say that the Aztecs were so kind and humane who offered a drink of tequila to a victim before his/ her death!..

Have you ever heard about the flying space plates over the Aztecs' land? It's turned out they had been seeking for some tequila. So, what should be done to make tequila alive? You should cover the full glass of tequila by your palm, then make your hand lightly closed, otherwise - make a fist. Do it tenderly. Pretend you are having a humming-bird in your hand. Then put up your hand towards your shoulder and at once bang your fist with the glass on the table using all your man's resolution. Immediately have a look at the tequila - it has opened its eye of 40 degrees. If you have keen hearing, you'll hear "si-si" (yes-yes). And Spanish will be closer to you when you drink the tequila.

The Mexican arts! The arts have been an important part of Mexican life since the days of ancient Indians. The Maya and Toltec Indians built beautiful temples and painted murals (wall-paintings) in them. The story of the Mexican Revolution is told in murals by David Siqueiros and other well-known artists as Jose Orozco and Diego Rivera. The Spaniards brought in a love for fine buildings and for literature to the country. Indian craft-workers built and decorated thousands of churches based on Spanish designs. Multinational handicraft industry is spread all over Mexico. Generally speaking, the Mexicans are specialized in pottery, silver and gold objects and articles (hand-made and manufactured). If you are interested in Russian history you can come across "Trotsky's House", where he was killed in 1940 by the "Hand of Moscow" - the Spanish hireling extremist Ramon Mercader.

Masterpieces of Spanish architecture and painting can be found in Oaxaca, Keretaro, and Guanojuato.

Each year millions of tourists -mostly Americans - visit Mexico. They stay at luxurious hotels, go to superb restaurants and stores, visit night centers.

No civilization can be compared with Lord's creation. Variable Mexican landscapes are splendid. You come across deserts and wilderness in the north, jungles - in the south, nearly everywhere - hills and mountains, even - active volcanoes, surrounded by deep canyons. Put it into one word - it's a great botanical garden with an aquarium and the zoo under the sky.

You may relax for a while by the endless sandy beaches.

In the end, you could visit a Women's island. Everyone would cross the water in the storm having learned about this island with a welcoming name. Having been there once, you can understand its name.

It's a pity, time flies fast on the island. We leave the wine and fruit on the sandy coast. We will remember forever You, Mexico!

Next time I'm going to narrate you about another miracle of Mexico.

Margarita Tourko
May, 2004